Christian Counselor Seattle
Taking a stance on the topic of same-sex attraction guarantees tension and controversy. Yet I work with many Christian women who experience conflict with same-sex attraction (SSA) and the topic cannot be ignored. Because of that, I want to write this article specifically for those looking for that safe place of rest. I hope this article will help you to realize that you can bring those things that are hidden in darkness out into the light. You can be honest and still experience love and relationship.
There are five important things I want you to know about my work with female SSA:
1. Relationship is Essential
Many counselors believe that therapy should not be driven by theory alone, but also by relationship. I believe this concept is of utmost importance, especially when working with women who are in conflict with SSA. Models of therapy and theory do not enable one to process one’s experience or to grow on their own. Instead, it is within a loving and understanding relationship that one is able to experience safety and nurturing support. Many who have benefitted from counseling have emphasized that this was due to the love, acceptance, and commitment of their counselor.
2. An Atmosphere of Safety and Trust is Crucial
Within the specific context of Christian faith, women in conflict with SSA are often tired of hiding. They long for safety and a quiet place to feel loved and accepted. Women with SSA will not feel safe until they know that they can be honest without being judged. My counseling office is a place where you can safely explore your concerns and ask personal heartfelt questions about life, sexuality, gender, and God. It is a place where my clients experience the power of openness without rejection or disapproval. It is not only a place to talk about difficult concerns, but it is also a place to laugh and sit back and relax. A safe place to just be you.
3. Every Situation is Unique
No two women are alike. This is also true within the context of female SSA. Women can experience SSA on a continuum with many different emotions, behaviors, and orientations. SSA includes any desire toward another woman, in reality or fantasy, that may involve erotic feelings, sexually charged sensations, or a strong preoccupation with nonsexual physical affection such as being held, hugged, casually touched, or cuddled (Hallman, 2008). SSA is broad ̶ it can include emotional dependency and same-sex sexual behavior without an attraction to the same sex. It is important to me that I am patient as you find ways to express your experiences, beliefs, uniqueness, and goals within our work together.
4. Change Can Look Very Different
Change is a natural part of human growth and development. Yet many women come into therapy unsure about change and unable to articulate their counseling goals. SSA is extremely complex and has biological, cognitive, emotional, relational, and behavioral aspects. These factors may or may not run deep into a woman’s fundamental identity. Together we will begin to explore these factors in order to find ways in which growth needs to occur. As you find your way and experience self-directed growth, you will feel free to choose to live the life you are called to live.
5. The Client Gets to Choose
I believe that a woman has the right to seek counseling and to attempt to grow, heal, or change any aspect of her life. This includes allowing the person to admit and explore her same-sex feelings. You will be challenged to explore your faith and your view of God, while clarifying your values and beliefs about SSA. These findings will play a part in your decision. God has given you free will and you have the freedom to choose what you will do with your SSA.
My Priority as a Christian Counselor
As a Christian counselor it is important for me to be as Christ-like as humanly possible. It is my goal to be completely approachable, full of grace, love, mercy, gentleness, and compassion. I want to reflect God’s faithfulness and enduring presence, and yet never compromise the truth. I want you to know that you are valued and unique. When you sit with me, I want you to be able to say, “Oh, thank God I’m here! With you I can be vulnerable and authentic. With you I can unload my stuff. I can be challenged without needing to be defensive.”
I would be honored to support your personal growth and development as a Christian woman.
Hallman, J. (2008). The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction: A Comprehensive Counseling Resource. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press.
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